‘No one should be without a house’: Dozens gather outside Capitol protesting rent, evictions

A federal eviction moratorium ended Friday, putting millions at risk of losing their homes in the coming months

MADISON, Wis. — A group of Madison residents joined a national movement protesting evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic.

A peaceful protest took place on the State Street side of the Capitol around noon Saturday. This comes just one day after the eviction ban created by the CARES act expired, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes as the pandemic continues.

“I think we have a lot of problems in America right now. Anyone who is standing up to address any of them is doing the right thing,” said attendee Matthew Westphall.

Westphall was just one of dozens who held up signs in protest for hours.

Another attendee named Mary Crey said she stood out there to help bring attention to those who may be at risk of losing their homes during the pandemic.

“Yesterday was the end of the extra support for unemployed people. I think it’s really a disaster,” Crey said. “People of color will be affected more severely by that. So I’m showing solidarity with people of color.”

Crey said even though she is not experiencing the risk of losing her home personally, “I live in an area of town where I think many people are, so I’m coming out here to support my neighbors.”

According to a survey by Apartment List, nearly 1/3 of Americans did not make their full-rent for July, and millions more could be at risk of missing out on future payments as unemployment benefits start to expire.

This risk is what brought Sylvan Bachhuber out to the protest. She said although she personally isn’t at risk of losing her home, she said she understands, “the toll that not having a house takes on someone.”

In a pandemic when people are being told to stay home, and a growing number of people won’t have a home to stay, people are pushing for an end to evictions and the racial disparities that come with it.

“No one should be without a house,” Bachhuber said. “That’s not how we take care of each other.”